Watching the news today it struck me that some changes to the lineup of sports included in the Olympics might be called for. Anyone who knows me can probably tell that I have a limited interest in organised sports: “Built for comfort, not for speed.” But I can’t avoid what is effectively a shutdown of the TV networks for the next few weeks. One of the news items today was on the sports that are going to be added for the 2020 Olympics.
My opinion, that nobody ever asked for, is that unless the results of a sport can be quoted in SI units it isn’t a sport. I know I’m not alone in this. As far as I am concerned any competition that awards marks for “artistic merit” isn’t a sport, it’s an art-form. When the Olympics can offer medals for an objective test of “Best Cute Cat Picture” I’ll accept that it’s also time to award medals for gymnastics, synchronised swimming and ice skating. Not until.
The thought was triggered by the mention of the inclusion of rock-climbing as an Olympic sport from 2020. How can a climber’s performance be compared to another’s? Time to climb a standardised climbing wall would do. But for results to be comparable year-to-year the walls each year would have to conform to a published specification. Hand/footholds of the same geometry and coefficient of friction ever time. Contestants might be divided into different classes based on their height and armspan.
That thought led on to thinking about what other sports could be legitimately included in future years. What other competitions are a test of skill that can be measured in numeric values. Digital values. Obviously, computer games! Easy to standardise from event to event, unambiguous scoring. Where do I sign up?